By Felipe Leon
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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“I think I got caught with the magnitude,” a surprisingly jubilant Victor Ortiz (24-2-1, 19KO) stated at the post fight press conference after he was stopped in the sixth round in a jr. welterweight bout for the vacant interim WBA strap by Marcos Maidana (26-1, 25KO) Saturday night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. “It really hit on my way to the ring, the fact that I was the main event and the crowd chanting ‘Victor, Victor’, I didn’t listen to my corner which was my fault.”
Ortiz, who walked into the post fight gathering of the media holding a large bag of ice to his swollen left eye, demonstrated maturity beyond his 22 years as he seemed at peace with the second loss of his career.
“The whole world saw that I brawled and that is not my style,” Ortiz if Oxnard, CA, said. “I fought his fight, he is as strong fighter and a strong fighter should not be fought that way.”
“It definitely want my rematch, I would do it tomorrow but you know…,” Ortiz chuckled as he pointed to his swollen eye.
Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions and Ortiz’s promoter agreed with his fighter assessment of the fight.
“We all witnessed a fight between two warriors. Ortiz made mistakes and he will fix his mistakes. Maidana is to be a great champion and I am sure that they will meet again.”
Richard Schaefer introduced the winner of the night and the new interim WBA 140 lbs. champion. “He fought a tremendous fight, he was down and he came back up. A lot of fighters in the division will be afraid of him.”
Maidana of Argentina addressed the assembled media through his interpreter and corner man Miguel Diaz.
“I am very happy to have beaten Ortiz. He is a tough fighter with a good record,” Maidana said with only a small welt under his left eye. “The most important thing is that I take the belt back to Argentina.”
Schaefer added that with the win, Maidana has earned the right to face the winner of the July 17th bout between Andreas Kotelnik and Amir Khan.
“I wasn’t surprised by Ortiz’ style. I’ve seen videos of him and I knew that he a warrior but I was ready to after him,” the quiet Maidana stated confidently as his large entourage cheered him on. “This was the toughest fight I have ever been in, against the strongest and toughest fighter I have faced so far in my career. Although I was knocked down, I had to fight for my family back in Argentina. I would be more than happy to give him the rematch since I know how to fight him now.”
As a united front, De La Hoya, Schaefer and Ortiz addressed the controversy of whether Ortiz quit or the fight stopped by the attending physician due to the cut above his right eye.
“Victor was ready to continue, De La Hoya stated adamantly while Schaefer said “this was a half blind man because of the cut and I think that the California State Athletic Commission did a great job in stopping the fight.”
De La Hoya concluded the press conference with a vote of confidence towards his young charge.
“This was a tremendous fight. Maidana is a great fighter and I he probably beat any of the champions out there at 140. Ortiz came to fight and he went down but he will get back up and fulfill his dream of being a world champion.”
“Everything has been taken away from me, even my parents,” Ortiz stated referencing his tough childhood. “I’ve tasted dirt, I’ve come from nothing but I will keep trying and I will be back.”